Christie’s presents its second instalment of The Ann and Gordon Collection, with items from the philanthropist couple’s storied Berkeley Hills property, Temple of Wings, going under the auctioneer’s hammer today.
As members of the billionaire industrialist Getty family, the couple were active philanthropists and socialists with a vast art collection to match. Their Greco-Roman style Temple of Wings estate was their family home and a living gallery for their expansive art collection.
The upcoming auction has garnered significant interest following the success of an extensive ‘blockbuster’ sale held in New York last October, which bid farewell to furniture, lighting, paintings, ceramics and a collection of handbags. June’s instalment has piqued even more interest, partly because it looks inside the couple’s opulent Berkeley home.
Temple of Wings was built initially for dancer and arts patron Florence Treadwell Boynton in 1910 by Bernard Maybeck. The architect, who practised the popular Arts and Crafts style, was inspired by the work of ancient Greek architect Ictinus, who co-designed the Parthenon.
This enthralling collection is an immersive journey where history, art, and timeless style converge. The magnitude of the Temple of Wings collection necessitates three live auctions, each showcasing the exceptional interiors of the architectural gem.
Anne Getty, in particular, cultivated the home’s interiors which celebrate 19th-century artistic expression, particularly the Arts and Crafts movement, with an array of artworks, objects and a remarkable set of 70 Tiffany Studio lamps.
Works by architectural and decorative arts visionaries such as A.W.N. Pugin – the pioneer of design reform and Gothic revival in Great Britain – William Burges, Bruce Talbert, and Charles Robert Ashbe all feature.
William de Morgan ceramics find their place alongside the iconic furniture and textiles by William Morris, known as the ‘father’ of the Arts and Crafts movement. Meanwhile, paintings by Royal Academy artists, including Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema and Lord Leighton, showcase the grandeur and spirit of the Victorian era.
The auction begins on 14 June 2023, with proceeds benefitting the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation for the Arts, dedicated to supporting arts and science organisations.